By the By

I HAVE A CONFESSION TO MAKE.

I’ve spent 9 months on the inside.

 

But so have you!

Please add 9 months to your age.

God does.

 

What happens when you put PRO-LIFE and PRO-CHOICE together?

You should get CHOOSE LIFE!!

 

Throw a party 9 months before your birthday.

And celebrate the truth that God formed you and knitted you together in your mother’s womb.

That will confound the world!

 

But more than that, it is written God knew you in the womb and even in His own thoughts, before that!

That’s your real conception!

In the mind of God.

 

HAPPY in-the-mind-of God-DAY!

 

Psalm 139

Jeremiah 1:5

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THOTS Small Thoughts: “Heads I win, Tails you lose?”

Would you put this head, with this body?    

What did the apostle Paul have to say of himself?

For I think God has exhibited us apostles last of all, as men condemned to death, because we have become a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men. We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are prudent in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are distinguished, but we are without honour. To this present hour, we are both hungry and thirsty, and are poorly clothed, and are roughly treated and are homeless, and we toil working with our own hands. When we are reviled we bless, when we are persecuted we endure, when we are slandered we try to conciliate. We have become as the scum of the world, the dregs of all things until now. (1 Cor 4:11-13)

All dressed up and nowhere to go?

Or,

All beaten up and the world is my parish?

Is it time to re-ad-dress our priorities, and do the things that really matter?

As Paul goes on to record, in the very next verse:

“I do not write these things to shame you, but to admonish you as my beloved children….

Therefore I exhort you, be imitators of me.”

Be the head….not the tail.

THOTS Small Thoughts: How do you solve a problem like “Sophia”?

Who then is “Sophia”?

Sophia, in this instance is not a “Who” but a “What”.

“Sophia” is the Greek word used in the following address by the apostle Paul.

For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness (SOPHIA) of speech, so that the cross of Christ would not be made void. (1 Cor 1:17)

“Sophia” then is the Greek word translated “cleverness” or “wisdom”, and refers to that philosophical Greek eloquence of speech with wisdom of words and discourse that are sure to please!

But Paul would have none of that.

Nor must we!

We must not lean on our own understanding, but we must rely on preaching the “foolishness of the cross”.

If we do rely on “Sophia”, Paul tells us very clearly that the cross of Christ is made void, emptied of its power, and made of no effect!!!

Do we want a powerless gospel?!

Of course not.

Then we must preach Christ with the unction of the Holy Spirit and with words of truth, clearly presenting the cross in its fullness and ‘affrontedness’. That way, there is a demonstration of the Spirit and power, and people’s faith then rests not on man’s wisdom, but on the power of God!

How do you solve a problem like Sophia?

Preach the uncompromising cross of Jesus Christ!

Paul met Sophia…

Paul won out.

 

 

Warning!

It has been said by some “Once saved, always saved.”

Just what do the Scriptures say?

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. (Eph 2:8)

Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. (1 Cor 15: 1-2)

For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (1 Cor 1: 18)

But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved. (Matt 24:13)

So Scripture clearly tells us that, by grace and through faith, we have been saved, we are saved, we are being saved, and we will be saved.

All the tenses are reckoned: past, present, future. NOT a one-tense only, as if to say once saved, always saved.

The danger then becomes complacency. We can afford no room for this subtle error and deviation from the truth! (1 Cor 6:12)

What of the conditions?

ON HIS PART, Jesus Christ (Messiah) has fully met and completely satisfied the conditions of justice before Father God once and for all time, through the atoning work of the cross and by His victorious, overcoming and sinless life. As the great high priest, He ever lives to make intercession for us.

FOR OUR PART, Scripture tells us that to be saved, we must “Repent and believe in the gospel” (Mk 1:15), have “believed and have been baptised” (Mark 16:16), that “We must be born again” (John 3:7), that we “confess Him as Lord” (Rom 10:9) and that we must continue to “Work out our salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil 2:12).  1 Cor 15:1-2 makes it clear that working out our salvation (or ‘continuing in salvation’) requires us to “hold fast the word which was preached”. Logically then, if we do not hold fast the word that is preached, then, as Paul goes on to write, we have “believed in vain”, ie, we no longer remain saved, by our own un-doing. To believe in vain clearly can only mean that it profits us nothing, and we may as well have not believed in the first place, as it leaves us in the same end condition as an unbeliever, in fact Scripture suggests worse off, (Heb 6:4-6 and Mark 14:21). Matt 24:13 above clearly states that we must “endure to the end“. Therefore, if there is no “enduring to the end” in order to be saved, there is no being saved, at the end. There is no meeting of the requirements to be being saved to the uttermost (Heb 7:25).

THEREFORE, let us take heed to the truth of the Word of God, the Scriptures, that clearly teach us that we have been saved, we are saved, we are being saved, and we will be saved…...IF…..we continue to meet the ‘conditions’ of remaining being saved, unto the very end.

THE GOOD NEWS IS that if we continue to love the Lord with all of our heart and soul and strength and mind (Luke 10:27), and we walk and are led by the Spirit, then we are sons of God (Rom 8:14), if we walk in the light as He is in the light, then we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus His Son, cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1:7). If we overcome, then we shall eat of the tree of life and not be hurt by the second death (1Jn 5:4-5 and Rev 2:7,11)

You can overcome. You must overcome!

Once saved, always saved?

Not without a fight!

THOTS Small Thoughts: Of Means or an End?

God is faithful, through whom you were called INTO fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. (1 Cor 1:9)

Is FELLOWSHIP therefore, a “MEANS” or an “END”?

That is to say, is it a “means” to something else, or an “end” in itself, of its own accord?

If we are called INTO fellowship or UNTO the fellowship, then it is an END and not a means.

And if it is an END of itself, how important is that!

We can say, we have arrived! There is no more need or searching to do anything else!

Other than that which takes us to that END.

What then can be said of other “Christian activity”, that we do and have?

Can you identify from what you do and are involved in, whether it is a MEANS or an END?

What of preaching and of teaching the gospel? A means or an end?

What of the gifts and the power of the Holy Spirit? A means or an end?

What of pews and placards and podiums and programmes and power points and party hats? A means or an end, or something else?

What of love?

What of salvation?

What of the glory of God?

What are we reaching toward?

What are we reaching for and aiming to attain?

Anything that is a justifiable MEANS should be taking each one of us and all of us to that glorious END!

Otherwise, why do it?! For what gain? To what end?

Is it not, as Paul describes the calling UNTO the fellowship of our Lord Jesus Christ?

And that, forever?

After all, what is left, after all is said and done?

Are we experiencing NOW, that eternal life and fellowship with His Son?

That we may know Him and He us?

And sup.

Consider then whatever it is that you do, and decide whether it is a means or an end.

It will help determine what is of importance and what is of highest value and of greatest pre-eminance.

It will help decide where effort and energy and expense should be placed and upon what.

And it will help to decide where our fragile time is given.

And on what, or upon whom, it is spent.

May it be upon Him and for Him, who is the Alpha and the Omega,

The beginning and THE END.

He who says what he means and means what He says.

He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Not a dead END.

A question for you

  Why are there stars in the heavens?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For signs. (Gen 1: 14 and Luke 21:25)

To give light on the earth. (Gen 1:17)

For Abram to look up and count them, if he was able to count them. (Gen 15: 5)

To multiply. (Gen 22:17)

As a picture of Abram’s descendants.  (Ge 26:4)

To bow down. (Gen 37:9)

To be a great number. (Deut 1:10)

As part of the host of heaven. (Deut 4:19)

Not to be worshipped or served. (Deut 4:19)

Allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven. (Deut 4:19)

They fight from heaven, from their courses against the enemies of God. (Judges 5:20)

They can be darkened. (Job 3:9)

A seal set upon them. (Job 9:7)

To show great height-how high the distant stars are! (cf. distance from us); that illustrates how high God Himself is in the height of Heaven. (Job 22:12)

Not pure in God’s sight. (Job 25:5)

The morning stars sang together (when God laid the foundations of the earth). (Job 38:7)

They have been ordained (Psalm 8:3)

To rule by night with the moon (reflecting that God’s loving kindness is everlasting). (Psalm 137:9)

God counts the number of the stars, He gives names to all of them. (Psalm 147:4)

To praise Him (all stars of light). (Psalm 148:3)

The stars will be darkened (Ecc 12:2) and their constellations will not flash forth their light (in the Day of the Lord). (Is 13:10)

“How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, You who have weakened the nations!” (Is 14:12)

Not one of them is missing. (Is 40:26)

Astrologers prophesy by the stars (but they have no power to save). (Is 47:13)

They are in a fixed order. (Jer 31:35)

Some of the stars fell (will fall) to the earth and were (will be) trampled down. (Da 8:10 and Matt 24:29 and Mk 13:25 and Rev 6:13)

As an example of what those ones will be/appear like forever and ever, after their resurrection (in brightness of appearance/glory) if they have led many to righteousness. (Da 12:3)

The star of your gods (an image that was made, to be worshipped). (Amos 5:26 and Acts 7:43)

There is a nest set and built among the stars, from which height, God will bring that one down. (Obad 1:4)

His star, in the east, of where He lay (of Jesus). It appeared at an exact time. It went on and stood over the place where the child was. (Mt 2:2, 7,9)

A storm gets in the way of the appearance of the stars so that they cannot be seen. (Acts 27:20)

The stars have a glory of their own and star differs from star in glory. (1 Cor 15:41)

The morning star will arise in your hearts, when the prophetic Day dawns. (2 Peter 1:19)

Some stars wander (like people who leave the faith) and for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever. (Jude 1:13)

Jesus holds the seven stars in His right hand-that is, the angels of the seven churches. (Rev 1:16,20)

The morning star will be given to the overcomer. (Rev 2:28)

A great star called Wornmwood will fall from heaven on a third of the rivers and waters. (Rev 8:10)

A third of the stars (will be) struck after the fourth angel sounds, so that they would be darkened and the night with it. (Rev 8:12)

A star from heaven will fall to the earth after the fifth angel sounds. (Rev 9:1)

A sign…A crown of twelve stars upon a woman’s head. (Rev 12:1-2)

Another sign…The great red dragon’s tail sweeps away a third of the stars of heaven and throws them to earth. (Rev 12:3-4)

Jesus is…the bright morning star! (Rev 22:16)

THOTS Small Thoughts: The Place to Be

Paul’s letters (and Revelation) were written to a peculiar and called out people, of a particular PLACE:

To all who are beloved of God in ROME

To the church of God which is at CORINTH

With all the saints who are throughout ACHAIA

To the churches of GALATIA

To the saints who are at EPHESUS

To all the saints who are in Christ Jesus who are in PHILIPPI

To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are at COLOSSAE

To the church of the THESSALONIANS

John to the seven churches that are in ASIA

There is a belonging not only to JESUS the person, but a binding to a place, a purpose, and a pursuit.

A place of residence. A purpose to “be” all that He has newly made us to be. And a pursuit of Him amongst the brethren, in love.

It is about seeing His kingdom come. That is, His kingly-DOMAIN come! Here and now and in the future.

And His kingdom is about a person, a place and a power.

Where the Person of Jesus Christ is King.  Letting Him reign in/of/at/that geographical place where YOU reside. And letting the kingly power of God be being demonstrated, upon which our faith rests.

…with all who in every PLACE call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ...1 Corinthians 1:2

So, let His kingdom come and His will be done,

On EARTH (in Rome, at Corinth, throughout Achaia, of Galatia, at Ephesus, in Philippi, at Colossae, of the Thessalonians, in Asia, and at your place of ________________ too!).

As it is in HEAVEN.

Amen and Amen.